~ Side Story: Felicity (Part 3) ~
Seeing us take this stance, although there was supposed to be only him there, the noble clicked his tongue and called out to his troops.
“Capture them alive!”
“Get ready!” I said.
“Right back at ya!” he said.
The gates were opened and four men stepped out. In front of us were another two.
These guys didn't shout anything, they simply attacked. I avoided the first strike, parried the second, and kicked the first one in the stomach with my foot. The man's Magic Armor suffered a crack, but wasn't shattered, so I tried to attack him with my sword, but another one tried to impale me with his. Rolling to the left, I avoided it and then tossed a hand of dirt from the ground at the first one, a cover for my next attack.
“[Ice Spike]!” I called out and pointed my hand at him.
The spell was activated and the man was struck by a spike of ice at close range. His Magic Armor was cracked, and he was pushed back a meter. Since I used a Magic Crystal to call out this spell, it wasn't that powerful as if I had chanted it, but for me it took far too long to do it. I wasn't as proficient at it as the others were.
“A magician?” one of them questioned.
I didn't let this moment slip by and rushed at the one I attacked, avoiding the swords of the others and stabbing my blade into the chest of the man. His Magic Armor stopped me just a few millimeters away from his leather armor, but I used [Dash] right in that moment and slammed him into the bars of the cell behind him. The force was enough to pierce through his Magic Armor, and the man coughed up blood. The sword passed right through his torso.
I twisted the blade and heard his bones crack. The man screamed in agony as he took his last breath of air. The others, ignoring their comrade's death, charged at me. I jumped on the chest of the man I impaled and then pushed myself away from him, jumping backwards and taking my sword with me. As I made a loop in the air, I slashed my sword as hard and fast as I could at the first man I saw. It was a direct hit, and his head came flying off his shoulders.
The moment I landed on the floor, I used [Dash] and impaled the other in his back before he had the chance to return. Sensing danger, I moved to the left and avoided the sword of the last one. Now he looked a bit furious.
I let go of my sword and rolled on the ground, avoiding a slash at me. When I stopped, I took out the dagger in my boot and tossed it at him. The man blocked it with his sword, but the blade exploded in his face. It was enchanted, after all.
Using this moment of confusion, I grabbed the sword of the dead guy in front of me and used it to stab this last one in the heart. His Magic Armor didn't shatter, but once more I used [Dash] and used the bars behind him to push the sword through him. Eventually, it pierced.
“Gah!” the man groaned in pain and with one strong twist of my the blade, I made sure to break his bones.
I pulled the sword out and slashed his throat open.
“I-Impossible! Those were Godlike!” he shouted.
I blinked surprised and looked back at the four dead men.
Lower Godlike maybe... Otherwise I shouldn't have been able to win. I thought as I walked over to the dead body that held my sword in his back.
After pulling it out, I looked at Braigun. He already finished off one of his attackers, an el'doraw male who was cut in half. The draconian was currently struggling against the last one. When I looked at his opponent, I noticed that it was a woman. Her body was covered in leather armor, but the hills on her chest and the long flowing red hair were certainly those of a woman. She wielded a giant sword almost the same size as Braigun's halberd.
When fighting against something of that size and weight, speed was of the essence, but the woman moved almost as fast as the draconian. Her blade slashed through the air as fast as I could with my short sword, but the weight of her weapons could put more than a dent in one's armor. Braigun looked like he was struggling.
“Need a hand?” I asked.
“Ugh! Nah!” he replied after he blocked three consecutive attacks.
She had yet to use her skills, but it didn't look like she was holding back. In fact, she was hitting him with all of her might. The halberd bent every time it was struck. If it wasn't enchanted, it would have broken ages ago.
“Either way, this is over.” I said as I approached the two.
“What do you mean, peas...” the noble tried to speak, but he then opened his eyes wide and held his throat.
“That's what I mean.” I smiled.
“Nya~!” the nekatar announced her presence as she wiped the blade of her dagger on the noble's clothes.
The noble fell on his knees as his blood was spilled on the floor and all over him.
Seeing this, the woman also stopped her attacks.
“Huh?! Are you tired?” Braigun asked foolishly.
“Master is... dying...” she said as she looked back at him.
“Master? Are you his minion?” Braigun asked.
She shook her head and then pulled down the cloth covering her neck. We all saw the leather collar there as it was shining in a purple color. She was a slave, however, the fact that it was glowing like that meant that the noble ordered her to die if he was to die as well.
“Ah, crud!” I said and then rushed over to her. “Don't attack!” I told her.
“What are you...” she asked a bit shocked as she looked back at me.
I placed a small stone on her neck and the Magic Energy that made the collar activate was absorbed by it. In that moment, she was a slave no more...
“He's dead now.” Mayana announced as she poked the noble with her finger.
“I... I'm alive?” the woman asked.
“Yes... and not a slave anymore, but please don't kill me?” I told her with a light smile.
“Without an order from my master, I will not... But I have no more master now...” she said as she touched her collar.
In that moment, I could see tears forming in the corners of her eyes and flowing down on her dirty cheeks.
“I'm... free?” she asked.
“Yup!” I told her with a smile.
In that moment she dropped her sword and fell on her knees. The woman who kept Braigun at bay with her attacks was now crying like a child.
“Braigun, can you take care of the slaves over there?” I asked him as I tossed him the rock.
“Sure thing. How many charges in this thing?” he asked.
“Twenty nine, but I have two more with me, and you should have yours as well.” I told him.
“Yup. Still, I have to admit... That Dungeon of yours back in Elora sure made a nifty item.” he remarked.
“Indeed. Ever since Illsyore defeated it and my brother returned, the relationship between us and him have... changed. But I think it has more to do with that new Dungeon it came into contact with recently... I think his name was Deusur?” I said as I scratched the back of my neck.
“Oh, him? I heard his dungeon is quite friendly with beginners, but merciless with veterans.” he remarked as he walked over to the cells.
“He has a strange way of... working with humans. But let's talk about him later... for now, we should finish up here and tell Ellen to stop bombarding this place.” I said as I looked up at the ceiling.
The shakes from the boulders crushing down on top of us had yet to stop.
“What about her?” asked Mayana.
“She's... harmless now. What about the daughter of the noble?” I asked.
“I saved her ages ago. Can't believe they let just two Master Rank guards with her. Nihihi!” she smirked.
“Where is she now?” I asked.
“With Ellen.” she nodded.
“You had time to go in and out with her? HOW?!” Braigun asked perplexed.
“Don't you know it's not polite to ask a lady about her secrets?” she poked out her cat tongue at him.
“Ugh...” he groaned and returned to his work.
With a sigh, I shook my head and walked up to the woman warrior, who had stopped crying now.
“Are you alright?” I asked her.
“Yes...” she replied as she wiped her tears.
“What's your name?”
“I have none, but I am called Thing. Maybe that's my name?” she replied.
“Thing? That's not a name... Hm... How about I give you one as celebration for becoming a free woman?” I told her with a smile.
“That would be nice, but... why are you doing this?” she asked.
“Doing what?” I blinked surprised.
“Freeing us? Giving me a name?” she looked past me at the other slaves who started crying when they saw themselves without a collar anymore.
“Because I want to. My name is Reynolds D. Lagrange, and I came here with the mission of both freeing the slaves here and saving a hostage taken by that dead guy over there.” I said and pointed at the recently deceased noble.
“Freeing slaves? In Serdannya? Isn't that capital punishment?” she asked me.
“Maybe, but we're not staying in Serdannya. We're going to Aunnar, where slavery is abolished and all those who were once slaves are now free people with equal rights as everyone else.” I boosted about my kingdom with a proud smile on my face.
“It sounds like a wonderful place... You will take us there?” she asked.
“Yes.” I nodded and smiled back. “But first, I'm going to give you a name, if you don't mind. How about... Felicity?” I suggested.
“Felicity?” she blushed and looked down “If you believe I deserve such a pretty name... even though I attacked you... and...” she tightened her fists.
“True, but you were under orders, and you stopped the moment you saw your master die. You didn't try to save him, and you didn't try to attack me after I removed you from slavery either. From this alone, I judged that maybe you aren't a bad person. Besides, a beautiful woman who sheds tears of happiness after being freed from slavery usually isn't someone who holds ill will.” I told her with a smile as I knelt in front of her and took her hand into mine, to reassure her.
For some, this sudden act of friendliness would have been seen as weird, but this wasn't the first time I experienced such a scene. Braigun and Mayana were the same. They were my enemies when under the control of that noble, but the moment they were freed, they ceased their attacks. Of course, there were also some who didn't. Those who continued to attack remained enemies, and I made sure to take them down.
What I did now wasn't just something strange our out of the spur of the moment, but a repeat event which I had witnessed time and time again during these past two years ever since I began my fight against slavery. Brutal enemies when under the control of their masters turned into crying lambs once freed.
“That's why I think a beautiful name like Felicity suits you just well.” I told her with a smile.
“Thank you... I'll treasure it...” she said as she raised her head up and looked into my eyes.
In that moment, I felt my heart skip a beat.
What was that? I asked myself, but I wouldn't find an answer to this question for some time afterwards.
Thus, our journey into Serdannya Kingdom came to an end, and after cleaning up the rest of the troops left in the fortress, we plundered all the gold we could find and returned to Aunnar Kingdom.
As for Felicity... well... our story would continue for a while afterwards, because kids... that was how I met your mother!
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